Category Archives: Weekly Racing

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park to display the Championship-Winning Mertz Racing Sunoco Modified car at the 2016 New England International Auto Show

TSMP will be exhibiting from January 14 – 18 at the New England International Auto Show, located at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

(THOMPSON, CT) – Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) home of one of the oldest paved oval and road course racetracks in the country, will once again return to the New England International Auto Show at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on January 14-18. On display in the TSMP booth will be the Stan Mertz – owned No. 6 Just Get Dirty Apparel Company / Morningside Lawn & Landscape Sunoco Modified car, driven by multiple championship-winning driver, Woody Pitkat. The particular car that is on display is the one that Woody Pitkat drove throughout the 2015 season to seize his title.

In addition to getting a close up view of one of New England’s most beloved race cars, attendees will also have the opportunity to win a family four-pack of tickets to the 2016 Vintage Motorsports Festival on June 23-25, by stopping by the TSMP booth.

Show attendees are also encouraged to stop by over the weekend for a driver autograph session and to try out a state-of-the-art racing simulator, provided by the Motorsport Experience (www.motorsportexp.com). On Sunday, Woody Pitkat will be signing autographed posters from 12PM until 4PM. In 2015, he won both the TSMP Sunoco Modified Championship, the Modified Racing Series Championship, and also finished third in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour standings. The Motorsport Experience racing simulator will give fans the chance to drive a Modified around an exact replica of the TSMP 5/8-mile oval with real-world dynamic chassis motion, realistic steering forces with incredible road feel, paddles, sequential and H-pattern shifting options and aluminum race pedals with adjustable braking pressure.

Ticket prices, hours and more information for the New England International Auto Show can be found on the website www.bostonautoshow.com.

Visit the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park website www.thompsonspeedway.com for our 2016 schedule and event information, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.

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VISCONTI RACING TEAM TO FIELD RIVERHEAD MODIFIED CRATE ENTRY IN 2016, NAMES CJ LEHMANN DRIVER

Riverhead, NY Jan 11th.

When the new management team of Riverhead Raceway introduced the Riverhead Modified Crate division last October, the announcement immediately caught the attention of veteran Legend Race Car owner John Visconti III of Brooklyn. This past week John announced the Visconti Racing Team would indeed compete in the Riverhead Modified Crate class with former Charger talent CJ Lehmann of Shirley recently announced as the driver for the new team.

“I have to thank Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz not only for keeping racing alive at Riverhead Raceway but for introducing the Riverhead Modified Crate division that we are very excited to be a part of in 2016” an enthusiastic Visconti stated. Heading towards the new season will find some changes to Visconti’s team as well. “Since 1985 Tommy Barton has been my partner in any and all racing ventures but he’ll be stepping back this year” John disclosed. “With that in mind we have now formed the Visconti Racing Team. My father Cookie will serve as the General Manager of the team with my wife Marie taking on the role of Financial Manager”. Cookie Visconti, as veteran race fans will recall, was one of the top drivers in the Late Model class at the Freeport Stadium. In honor of his driving career the new Riverhead Modified Crate entry will carry Cookie’s famed #74 in 2016 at Riverhead Raceway.

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CJ Lehmann in Charger victory lane 2013


Once the team business was settled the process of purchasing a car and putting the actual team together began. “We purchased a 2013 Troyer and are currently in the process of converting the car to the Riverhead Modified Crate specs” Visconti said. As to who would drive the car John announced, “we are happy to announce CJ Lehmann as our driver for 2016. I feel with the combined experience of the Visconti and Lehmann race teams and families that we will be a top team weekly and perhaps contend for the RMC championship”. Scott Lehmann, CJ’s father has been appointed Crew Chief for the team.

Visconti also pointed to a continuation of a long standing alliance both he and the Lehmann race teams have enjoyed with Tommy Baldwin Racing over the past few seasons. That relationship will continue with the new combination, “Tommy Baldwin Jr. through TBR Racing as well Baldwin Automotive in Bellport will again serve a major sponsor of our race team. In fact the combination of our teams makes the TBR alliance stronger”. John also disclosed long time sponsors IGA Food Markets and Applebee’s have agreed to remain with the team in 2016.

As excited as Visconti is about the new team, driver CJ Lehmann could hardly contain his excitement, “I feel as though I had two Christmas mornings” Lehmann boasted after his naming as the team driver came just days after the holiday season. “I can’t thank John Visconti and the Visconti Racing Team enough for this opportunity as well Tommy Baldwin for his part in the formation of this team”. CJ, a seven time Riverhead Charger feature event winner added, “the icing on the cake for me is what a honor and privilege it will be to drive the #74 that Cookie Visconti enjoyed so much success with during his driving days”.

Anticipation and excitement continue to build for the Riverhead Modified Crate class with 22 car numbers registered to date. Among those include many former track champions. Peter Bertuccio, Kyle Ellwood, Scott Pedersen, Eric Zeh, Dylan Slepian, Mike Albasini and Dave Brigati have all won track titles at Riverhead Raceway over the years and plan on competing among the RMC ranks in 2016.

The Riverhead Modified Crate class will get right to the business of racing on Grand Opening night Saturday evening May 7th.  A huge Fireworks spectacular is planned for the 7 division opening night to celebrate a new era of racing at Riverhead Raceway. Rounding out the program are the NASCAR Modifieds, Late Models, Figure Eights, Blunderbusts, Super Pro Trucks and Legend Race Cars.

For further information as well 2016 Riverhead Raceway marketing information please call 631-842-RACE or e-mail info@riverheadraceway.com. The complete 2016 schedule of events are available at www.riverheadraceway.com.

Thompson Speedway’s 2016 Road Course Schedule Sees New Offerings and Return of Fan Favorites

(THOMPSON, CT) – Since the re-opening of the 1.7-mile road course at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) in 2014, the facility has worked on developing a robust and varied schedule of events that will cater to drivers and fans alike. This year’s schedule will see the return of some events that have quickly turned into annual traditions and new events will complement the already robust road course schedule.  The most important is the launch of Thompson’s own Summer Road Race Series, which will offer New England racers and fans the opportunity to try something completely new in a friendly one-day format.

“We are delighted to continue on with some of the road racing traditions that we have started over the past several years.  In addition, we are looking forward to hosting our own Summer Road Race Series, which will be headlined by the Legends. Last year they provided some of the best racing we have seen on our newly renovated road course has opened,” TSMP General Manager, Josh Vanada, remarked.

The road racing season will once again kick off with the 2nd Annual Icebreaker, Road Race Style on Friday and Saturday, April 29-30. This event will be first opportunity of the season to race, giving competition license holders the opportunity to dust off the racing cobwebs after a long winter. The event is open to holders of all licenses eligible for regional competition in SCCA, NASA, IMSA, PCA, VRT, ChumpCars, LeMons, VSCCA and BMWCCA. The event is unique in its format, giving drivers much more track time than is typical.  An addition to this year’s event will be the first TSMP points race for the INEX Legends.

The next event on the schedule will be the inaugural Vintage Motorcycle Classic, on Sunday, May 15, immediately following the Historic Oval Invitational. This event will include a track event, swap meet, antique motorcycle show, and vendor area.

Another returning event will be the Open Wheel Weekend on Friday and Saturday, May 20-21, featuring the Formula Lites, along with the INEX Legend series. The Formula Lites, a new open-wheel racing series with machines based on Formula Three cars, held their inaugural race at TSMP last year. This series is part of the development ladder for young drivers looking to move up into Formula 1 or IndyCar. They will be joined on Friday by the INEX Legend cars, who will be returning to the 1.7-mile track, as one of their five road course stops in the schedule. The weekend will also see Formula Vee and Formula F cars, two of the oldest open-wheel classes, take to the track.

The premier event of the 2016 road course season will once again be the 3rd Annual Vintage Motorsports Festival on June 23-25. This event showcases cars from each of the periods in which the Thompson road course has operated, and embodies the rich history of the track. The 2016 event will see over 150 cars, including sports cars, open wheel, production and sports racers, race wheel-to-wheel throughout the 3-day event, and will be co-hosted by VRG (Vintage Racer Group) and VSCCA (Vintage Sport Car Club of America).

The Optima Batteries ChumpCar World Series, one of the most popular endurance series in the country, will also be coming to the road course at TSMP for the first time on July 1-2 to run a 12-hour endurance race on the 1.7 mile track.

TSMP will play host to StarFest, the Mercedes-Benz Club of America’s (MBCA) largest national event, for the first time this year,. This event sees MBCA members from around the country converge on the “Quiet Corner” of Connecticut for track events on the road course and autocross skid pad at TSMP, Road Rallyes, a Concours d’Elegance and more. This event will be August 3 – 6, 2016.

Other returning events will include the 24 Hours of Lemons, “GP du Lac Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg,” which will be held on August 12-14.

The SCCA New England Region will once again run two regional races as part of the New England Road Racing Championship (NERRC) series, on July 22-23 and October 7-8.

Thompson will also be launching its own Summer Road Race Series to be held on Sunday afternoons throughout the summer.  This series will give drivers a cost-effective way to race on the road course, with a one-day format providing the opportunity to get a full weekend’s worth of racing in one afternoon. This series will be held on June 5, July 10, and August 7 with classes for Fiat 500 cars, small bore (including Miatas), big bore and the INEX Legends. Registration for these events will be available through the TSMP website, beginning February 1st. For more information about the series, contact the TSMP office at 860-923-2280.

In addition to racing events, the 2016 schedule will see the long-awaited return of Skip Barber Racing School to the track where it first started as it will hold several schools throughout the season on the road course.

TSMP will also host several car shows throughout the year, including the New England Dustoff Volkswagen & Audi meet on May 1, Honda Fest on June 12, and Toyota vs. Mazda “Bragging Rights” on September 18.

With a full schedule on the docket for 2016, there is sure to be something for every race fan and driver at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. For more information about our 2016 schedule, including ticket prices, visitwww.thompsonspeedway.com or call 860-923-2280. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube to stay up to the date on the latest news and events.